Each year, dozens of soppy movies hit our screens, but only a few become the kind of romantic movies you can watch over and over. To me, there is a certain criteria for these movies. First, they need to be entirely unattainable in terms of the romantic situations. Second, there needs to be a little bit of tragedy. Third, they should probably feature Colin Firth and/or Hugh Grant, but it really is sort of okay if they don't. On the basis of my highly complex criteria, I feel the following are romantic movies you can watch over and over.
1 Moulin Rouge
Featuring a slinky courtesan determined to become an actress, Moulin Rouge brings Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman together for a musical spectacular. Until I watched this, I had no idea either could sing. As a massive Baz Luhrman fan, this is one of my favorite romantic movies you can watch over and over. While I love his Romeo and Juliet, sometimes my head isn't ready to accommodate Shakespeare's English. Bring in Moulin Rouge, and I am happy.
2 Love Actually
There must be around seven or eight love stories in this one, all of them based in London. Bizarrely, we have Professor Snape cheating on his wife and Mr Darcy marrying a Portuguese woman. A not-so-tubby Martine McCutcheon is repeatedly referred to as chunky, before kissing the Prime Minister in front of a hall of school kids. Much to the dismay of men everywhere, there is the scene with the guy with the sign telling Keira Knightly "To me, you are perfect." No romantic gesture will beat that. Ever.
3 Beauty and the Beast
Putting the whole beast and beautiful woman thing aside, Beauty and the Beast is romance animated for pre-schoolers and beyond. Way beyond in my case. After being pursued by her town's local knuckle dragger, plucky Belle goes to rescue her mad scientist father from a French Chateau. There, she is welcomed by a wardrobe and a bunch of cutlery, before being imprisoned by a monster she later falls in love with. It's a little bit Stockholm Syndrome, but it works for me.
4 Pretty Woman
This film proves to me that Richard Gere just doesn't age. It's almost like he's been a silver fox his entire life. As for Julia Roberts, she just doesn't get any less beautiful. Fresh from the days when limousines were still cool, Pretty Woman tells the story of a prostitute rescued by a lovely business man. Entirely unrealistic, but it is amazing when Julia Roberts goes shaking her expensive bags at the snobby sales assistants who refused to serve her the day before. Go Julia!
5 Muriel's Wedding
Okay, so this isn't ALWAYS romantic. Muriel of Muriel's wedding is an Abba-loving, quite uncool Australian woman struggling on the pursuit of love. The cool girls from her school still mock her, she spends hours pretending she's a bride-to-be in bridal boutiques, and winds up marrying a South African swimming champion in need of a visa. This one is definitely more tragic than romantic. Still, I love it because in the end Muriel just heads for Sydney with her friend Rhonda and decides to be happy anyway. Who needs love?
We all know how Titanic begins and ends. Up until the point where Rose decides she will hog the ENTIRE plank of wood to herself, this is beautifully romantic. Then I am mad for a bit, until the camera moves to pictures of her doing everything she told poor old Jack they'd do together. As soon as she starts dreaming about walking down the staircase towards him, me and my mascara are lost in a sea of tears. Leonardo DiCaprio somehow still manages to look cute when he is spitting. Unbelievable skills right there.
7 Bridget Jones's Diary
I really believe that every woman everywhere can relate to Bridget Jones in some way. Our parents embarrass us, men with lovely accents are inevitably going to be a little bit horrible to us, and New Year's resolutions last until around 12:05 on January 1st. Even though there is a second film, nothing can quite beat the first. What I really love about this is that for once a director didn't make Hugh Grant a soft type. He plays the mean man well. I'd love to see more of that!
I can definitely wear out all of these films, then watch them all over again anyway. Each one has amazing heroines we can relate to, as well as toe curling situations that are a little bit too familiar. Okay, so Beauty and the Beast lacks the toe curling element. What are your favorite romantic movies to watch? And why?